Out of all the yarn I have dyed so far, the Sadie Fiery Sunset is my favorite. The stunningly bright and saturated colors. The bright and cheerful nature of the colorway. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to knit with it. And since I usually knit sweaters (slowly - like a glacier), I decided that I would make it part of a sweater set. But a color fade color set. So off we go!
I’m once again using Sadie, a 70-inch / 175 cm hank is 80% Merino Extrafine SW Wool and 20% Nylon blend. The hank is longer than most undyed hanks. Should you want a smaller hank size, Sabrina is a good option.
The yarn was attached to a shower curtain ring and soaked in water for 30 minutes. Then it was loosely laid out in my new friend, the fish steaming pot. Water was added so the yarn was almost submerged, and 1 tsp of citric acid sprinkled on top of it.
For colors, I used the same dyes from the first Fiery Sunset so maintain color consistency. One of the key parts of color harmony is making sure things are in the same family. For instance, if you want to have blue and red yarn in the same colorwork piece, in general, they should both be warm or cold colors. If one is cool, and the other warm, there is a better chance the colors will not work in harmony together. This is a generalization, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.
I mixed up some Jacquard Acid Dyes in squirt bottles.
• Yellow = 1/4 tsp Jacquard Sun Yellow
• Orange = 1/8 tsp Jacquard Sun Yellow and 1/8 tsp Deep Orange
• Red = 1/8 tsp Jacquard Fire Red
With the pan on the stove, I turned on the two burners and brought the water up to just before simmering. My goal is for a mottled fade. I added the yellow dye by concentrating it on the top third of the yarn and splattered it down another third.
On the bottom third, I saturated the yarn with the red dye and splattered it up to the middle third.
Finally, I added the orange dye in the middle third and splattered it into the yellow and red. I was more careful and lighter handed on the orange over the yellow. Yellow tends to get taken over by pretty much every color, and I wanted to avoid that.
At this point, I felt like things were too mottled. To help with that, I used a prong to push the yarn down and let some water seep up. That water carried the dye and helped mix the colors.
Nothing left to do at this point, but to let the dye exhaust, so I worked on some other yarn.
After using the prong to move the yarn around to make sure the water was clear, I picked up the hank by the shower hook and turned it over. Plenty of the yarn wasn’t dyed. So, I bet you’ll never guess what I did next...That’s right! I repeated the process.
The dye exhausted, the yarn cooled to room temperature, I washed it and hung it up to dry. I love how it turned out! The colors are bright and vibrant, and it coordinates perfectly with the original Fiery Sunset! I’m calling this a win.
Stay tuned for next week when I work on the next segment of this sweater fade set.
Ready to make your unique colorway? Hop on over to Makers' Mercantile® and pick up your undyed yarn and supplies. We can’t wait to see what you make, so tag us on social media with #makersmercantile!
Tara Warburton is the former graphic designer for Makers' Mercantile® and a fine artist. She specializes in watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. She lives with her two cats, who are not helpful when knitting.